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A FESTIVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE

This was a dish that sort of evolved as I was making it – without really thinking about the ingredients, all of a sudden I realized this would be a great Vegetarian side dish for the  holidays – Thanksgiving or Christmas.  We had this yummy dish on it’s own as a Vegetarian meal, however, it would be great as a side dish with roast chicken or turkey.

It does take a bit of time to make as there are a few different steps involved.  In this recipe, I used Lundberg Country Wild Gourmet Whole Grain Brown Rice Blend, my homemade Gluten Free Mushroom Soup, and store bought Vegetable Stock.  For the topping, I used thawed out Udi’s bread – all crusts, cut into cubes.  First, I will list the ingredients, then a step by step method.

1 cup of Lundberg Country Wild Gourmet Whole Grain Brown Rice Blend

2 1/4 cups Vegetable Stock

2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash

3 cups broccoli, stalks diced, then cut florets small

2 cups Gluten Free Mushroom Soup

1/2-2/3 cup Vegetable Stock

1 Bay Leaf

1 tsp. dried rubbed Sage

2 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

salt and pepper

TOPPING:

2 cups cubed gluten free bread (I used Udi’s thawed crusts that had been frozen) (leave on a baking sheet for about 4 hours)

1 large chopped onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1 finely diced celery stalk

3 Tblsp. butter

handful of chopped organic dried cranberries

1 tsp. dried rubbed Sage

1/2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning

sprinkling of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Add the rice and the 2 1/4 cups Vegetable Stock to a pot, bring to a boil, stir once with a fork, then turn down to minimum to simmer, lid on.  Cook for 50 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Once the rice is cooked and cooled, transfer to a casserole dish that has been lightly buttered.

Heat up a frying pan on medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the broccoli stalks and florets, sauteing about 10 minutes or until firm/ tender.  Then add in the butternut squash and saute for another 8 minutes.  Pour in the mushroom soup and 1/2 to 2/3 cup Vegetable stock (eyeball consistency), season with salt, pepper, and add in the bay leaf and sage.

Stir well, cover with a lid and turn down to a simmer.  Stir occasionally simmering for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf.  Layer on top of the rice evenly.

Topping:

Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat, adding in the butter to melt.  Add the onions, garlic, celery, season with salt and pepper, and saute about 10 minutes.  Add in the chopped dried cranberries, sauteing for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and add in the bread crumbs, sage, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper mixing well.  Adjust for any seasonings.

Spread over top of the vegetables and rice.  I then refrigerated the casserole for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Bake the casserole uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden.  Serve hot as a Vegetarian meal or along side any other main dish.

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